Bubbacue cooking up more success with Botanic restaurant

Karen Blisard of Bubbacue with Neil McCabe of WhiteRock Capital Partners
Karen Blisard of Bubbacue with Neil McCabe of WhiteRock Capital Partners

An American barbeque themed restaurant has recorded a 40% increase in turnover since opening a second outlet in Belfast four months ago.

Bubbacue secured a £400,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund to assist with the second outlet, which also created 15 new jobs.

Bubbacue first opened in November 2012 as a pop up restaurant before becoming a permanent fixture in Callender Street. Botanic Avenue was chosen as the location for the second outlet because of the owner’s knowledge of the local area and suitable premises coming to market.

“Our second restaurant has only been open since the end of June but it has traded extremely well,” said managing director John Blisard.

“The student market is very lucrative and the last month in particular has been hugely successful.

“There is certainly nobody else here or in England doing what we do and in America there are only a few franchises similar to us. The market is heading in one direction and that is towards fast-casual dining,” he said, adding tat the firm plans to open in Dublin in 2018 .

“We have plans to open a third store in Northern Ireland. We have customers who travel from Coleraine and Ballymena so opening a third store around the north coast is the next logical move. It’ll be a new concept to the area and we’re excited about our future expansion plans.”

Neil McCabe, senior investment manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners, said: “John and Karen’s entrepreneurial spirit has been evident since they first developed a local burrito chain.

“Bubbacue has brought an innovative concept to the food industry which has continued to evolve and grow in popularity over the past five years.

“There are ambitious business plans ahead for Bubbacue with the owners hoping to gain a major foothold in the Irish market. We look forward to following the company’s future growth.”